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More than 1,700 young people on Thursday (Dec. 7) graduated from the HEART Trust/ NTA’s south-west region, with certification in some 35 skill areas.
The graduates, from the Black River Vocational Training Centre, Ebony Park Academy, Enterprise Based Training, Mandeville Care Givers, and the Junction and Newport Vocational Training Centres, were presented with certificates in areas such as Business Administration, Data Operations, Electrical Installation, Garment Construction, Agro Food Processing and Ornamental Horticulture.
Executive Director of the HEART TRUST/NTA Robert Gregory, in his remarks at the ceremony held at the Kendal Conference Centre in Manchester, told the students that their certification was “testimony to what you know and what you can do” and they must now display the attitude of “a trained, certified person”.
He noted that HEART’s mission was to provide a trained Jamaican workforce, which was certified to international standards. The aim, he said, was to improve the country’s competitiveness in the regional and global economy. “All of you are players in the economy” Mr. Gregory told the graduates, noting that, “with your certification to international standards in whatever field you are working in, or have been trained, you are able to work everywhere in the world and compete with persons, who do a similar kind of job”.
He added “you have succeeded, you have been assessed against these international standards and you have been proven competent so . that you are now receiving your certification. This is the visa of the 21st Century.”
Executive Director of the Fair Trading Commission, Barbara Lee, who was the guest speaker at the function, congratulated the graduates on their achievement.
She told them that they were now “a noble addition to the Jamaican workforce,” and they needed to “focus on what life is going to be like after the ceremony”.”Life is like a bank, you can’t take out what you don’t put in,” Mrs. Lee said, noting that they must now place focus on the key ingredients of learning, yearning and earning.
The HEART TRUST/NTA trains approximately 11, 000 persons per year to meet the increasing demand for vocational skills.